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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 14th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #1
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Previewing Wedding Videos.

I would like to ask event videographers particulary in weddings if they let clients preview their wedding video before handing it in to the couple. I am pretty curious on how some of you guys do it.

In my case, I place the video to DVD and show it to them before they hand in the payment. In my agreement, I specify that unless an obvious mistake was done by me, I will re-edit at no charge. And if they want to make changes, there is an extra charge. Of course they don't want to pay a fortune because they are picky.

I know some videographers allow the clients to see the video through their computer before putting to DVD. Some videographer on the otherhand just hands in the final product without any previewing.

What do some of you guys do?
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Old March 14th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #2
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First of all, it's common for wedding service providers (including videographers) to get paid in full prior to the event, because you don't want to risk not getting paid once the couple realizes they went over budget. That said, I will try to give customers a chance to review a draft version of their video and request changes before I make their final copies. But if the video is ready to go and I can't get any response to phone calls or emails, I'll go ahead and make all the DVDs and send them out. At that point I'll be less willing to make changes unless they're critical, or if the customer is willing to pay for a re-edit.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #3
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We edit, make all copies as needed, and send them. Our contract gives us full control over editing. If they came back with a spelling error, I would fix it (I only put the bride and groom's names and wedding date) but I don't provide a preview copy.

This is one of those things where you'll find many people on both sides of the fence and with good reasons for being there. The bottom line is what works best for YOU.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #4
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I charge 50% up front (no more than $1,000) just to book the date. The contract specifies this is non-refundable. Then, I require the rest of the balance at least 14 days before the wedding date. This helps keep down the "ohh, well we decided we didn't want a video" or something like that. I also don't provide a preview. I will, though, fix any problems like misspellings, etc. at no charge.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 08:33 PM   #5
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I don't allow the couple to preview the wedding video. If there is a mistake, then I will re-edit and output to DVD at no charge (happened once in 3 years now). I don't even offer re-editing services to my clients because 90% of the time it's takes forever to get a hold of a couple and get the videos to them. By then, I've moved on to other projects and I need the space on my drives.

I bill differently than most videographers. I do 10% down, 40% 30 days before the wedding, and 50% when I deliver the videos. I've only had a problem one time so far, and they still want the video. It's just taken them about 2 years to get their finances together.

I am amending my contracts after this season, though, so that as soon as their videos are done, payment is due. And if not paid within 30 days, then interest will accumulate every 30 day period that their bill is outstanding.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #6
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I am with Bill in that I have full control over editing and unless I make a critical error...spell names wrong (I also just use bride and groom), date wrong, miss a toast, or forget to put in some other major event...I do not re-edit unless I am paid for it. Never has happened.

I bill the same as Travis 10% down...the rest is split in half 50% 15 days before when we meet at the place of ceremony or reception with the couple for 10minutes and the other 50% due when we are done with project.
OUr company is driven by my wife who is a photographer (and a very very good one) and video is just an added bonus form me (getting better and better)...so the small down payment is ok bcs. people usually won't pull out bcs. of a change of mind. Never has happened yet.

Have a good night guys
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Old March 14th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #7
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we bill 25% at time of bookingthen the rest about 2 weeks before the day of shooting. Only th high end packages have a prelim viewing and only for technicals.
Any errors on our part are taken care of, but ive had cleints come back to me after theve recieved the finished piece and they want this and that, but BEFORE the wedding date, we go through the details together so i have an idea of what they want BEFORE i edit. But if they change their minds, then theyre paying for my time..

In the end i have total control. Its in the contract
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Old March 16th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #8
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Here is something we learned. We do many Photomontages to be played at the reception. I have the client tell me all the pix that are important and give me music and styles.

When the montage is done they view it online for errors. Now, almost always they come back with things like:

Can we add this pic?
Can we slow down this pic?
Can we make it longer/shorter?
Can we change this that or the other?
etc, etc, etc.

We made the mistake of complying with this stuff the first couple of times. Now we shut that down right away. Sorry - no changes, you had your opportunity before production. This works out as a great prep for the same issues with the final video. Now they know they have to get requests in first and there are no revisions later. A less painful learning opportunity for both them and us and makes the rules clear for the final product.

Mike
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Old March 16th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #9
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I once made the mistake of doing a photo montage for a friend (free) without limiting the number of photos. She handed me a huge stack and wanted all of them in it. Took quite awhile just to do the scanning and touchup on the scans (some of the photos weren't the best).
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Old March 16th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #10
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We have let a client slide on not paying the full ballance of the video prior to their wedding date.....mistake on our part, the client was over two months late on payment. In the end they paid and all is good but the fact is....weddings can be a financial drain on people's wallets and if you have not received payment in full prior to the wedding day, you are setting yourself up for a (no) or really late payment. We will never let this happen again.

I agree on no revisions unless mispells, etc.....obvious mistakes......without charging for extra edit time. On the other hand, I have heard horror stories from bride's saying how awful the final video looked from various wedding videographers. who know's what really happened with the edit but in the end the bride's were not happy at all and they posted about these companies on various bridal websites. as longs as you do quality work...thats not an issue. pre planning...note taking and all that stuff goes a long way.

i highly recommend getting payment in full prior to wedding day.....even if you never had an issue with this.....the possibilities sure are there for non paying broke clients....and it would suck to have to take someone to court over that.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cook
Here is something we learned. We do many Photomontages to be played at the reception. I have the client tell me all the pix that are important and give me music and styles.

When the montage is done they view it online for errors. Now, almost always they come back with things like:

Can we add this pic?
Can we slow down this pic?
Can we make it longer/shorter?
Can we change this that or the other?
etc, etc, etc.

We made the mistake of complying with this stuff the first couple of times. Now we shut that down right away. Sorry - no changes, you had your opportunity before production. This works out as a great prep for the same issues with the final video. Now they know they have to get requests in first and there are no revisions later. A less painful learning opportunity for both them and us and makes the rules clear for the final product.

Mike
thats whats good about having an airtight contract.
In the begining prior to shooting, they can say all they like and make as many requests as they wish, on the day, there is no guarantee that any of these reqests can be fulfilled, simply due to the logistics of live events.
After the wedding, thats it, no more say unless they sit with me in the edit suite, (and theyve paid big bux for the top packages)

Also i WONT start an edit unless i have al my material there in front of me. Ive had clientas make me wait almost 6 months to get me there music and then have teh audacity to complain that theyve waited "9 months"

Make sure EVERYTHING is contracted.. i cannot stress this enough..

for slideshows, i do 2 styles.. the first is ur average growing up slideshow, 10 fotos of each as kids growing, then 10 to 15 shots of their relationship together. This goes on the DVD and is good for a 4 to 5 minutes soundtrack.
The second is a little more advanced and is not cheap coz we play this at the reception. I use alot of Particle Illusion to bring the images to life, as well as Parallax photographic animation to create various layers of the image. Funny thing is, ive had couples skimp on their packages then pay about $800 to have a slideshow at their reception, so ther IS a market for this..
How well u profit depends on how many hours you put into it, which is why i restrct the photos.
THis big slideshow also gets retouching done on the pics.

Once we get photos, i tel them to number the back of them in sequence to how they want each image presented. From there, THATS IT. No more.
Teyre paying US for OUR DISCRETION and TALENT. the more power you gve to them after the fact, the longer youll be spending on that one job and to be honest, you dont get paid enough to do that.

Remeber guys, this is business and you must always retain the mentality that even though you might be a part timer in this, that its still business and time is money..
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Old March 17th, 2006, 10:26 PM   #12
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Well I'm completely on the opposite side. Our most common option leaves about 30% of the package due when the DVD is has been proofed. For all major clips (ceremony, preps, highlights and first dance, reception montage) we put the clip on our website for them to preview. They then have 7 days, during the busier season at least, to give us any feedback for changes. We include in the contract that they can proof these peices and make reasonable changes ie changing the song doesn't count or completely reworking the whole clip.

We have had great feedback from this process and for the most part is goes very smoothly. Most comments often end up being very small, regarding switching a clip of people they don't know for somebody they do know or trying to get another close up in there. Very rarely do we get editing advice, and I think if your comfotable with your work and giving them quality, this can be a great way to make each portion as meaningful as it can be for that couple. We also don't handle a high volume of weddings, no more than 40 a year, and I don't know how I would feel trying to make this work with more weddings per season.

From what I have experienced, the comments preview process usually makes the video better for the couple in the end, amkes them all around happier with everything, and is very quickly added into our workflow. I know if it were my video, I would want the oppurtunity myself to preview it.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #13
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payment

From my wedding days- I get paid the same day as the limo driver, dj/band and caterer - which is never after the wedding. Why do photographers allow this?
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Old March 18th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #14
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Does anyone know of a good reference to find statistics on average and mean fees charged for wedding videography and photography services, broken down geographically (in the US)?
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Old March 19th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Plunkett
From my wedding days- I get paid the same day as the limo driver, dj/band and caterer - which is never after the wedding. Why do photographers allow this?
They might be aware of their actual turnaround time, also alot of poeple allow for after wedding payments as it helps motivate them to get the work out.

Not all photogs do this, id say maybe 5% of the ones i know do it this way, but mostly its the lil guys who havent been in it for too long.

as for me, i dont care when they pay everyone else, i jsut care when they pay me ;)
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